Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spiced Chicken Salad

Sometimes those random ingredients in your refrigerator can come to a fortuitously delicious conclusion.  I knew I wanted to make chicken for dinner, but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do with it.  We had arugula, a couple of stray potatoes, lots of carrots and half a cucumber.  We had herbs, and the usual spices, oils, and vinegars.  We also had a chunk of feta.

Voila!  All of these items came together to form a filling and delicious salad.  The chicken breast is marinated for a mere 10-15 minutes in yogurt and spices, then cooked in a cast-iron skillet and placed atop a salad of mixed veggies and boiled potatoes.  It's simple and filled with flavor. 

This is a basic formula that could work with any number of variations.  Cook a piece of marinated chicken breast and you can put it on top of just about anything, and then call it spiced chicken salad.  This particular combination works wonders, but if you have some mixed baby greens and tomatoes, you could use those instead of the arugula and potatoes.  You could ditch the feta and opt for fresh mozzarella, cubes of sharp cheddar, or no cheese at all if you like. 

Once again, I invite you to take my recipe and do whatever you like with it.  That's what playing in the kitchen is all about.

And speaking of which, I am thinking about changing some things up on this blog.  Is there anything you'd like to see more of?  Anything new you'd like to see besides recipes?  I promise to consider any serious suggestions.  Thanks!

Spiced Chicken Salad
serves 2


1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
pinch of ground cinnamon
bigger pinch of ground cumin
salt to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, divided
2 skinless boneless chicken breast cutlets
2 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 hothouse cucumber, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
cooking spray
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced feta cheese


1.  In a shallow dish, combine yogurt, cinnamon, cumin, a pinch of salt, and about half the parsley.  Place the chicken cutlets in the dish and turn to coat well with the yogurt mixture.  Let marinate for 10-15 minutes. 

2.  While the chicken marinates, place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cool water by about 1 inch.  Place on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat slightly and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.

3.  While the potatoes are cooking and the chicken is marinating, put the arugula, cucumber, and carrots in a large salad bowl with the remaining parsley. 

4.  Heat a cast-iron skillet, sprayed well with cooking spray, over medium-high heat.  When it's hot, shake the excess marinade off the chicken and add it to the skillet.  Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through.  

5.  Drizzle the vinegar and oil over the salad and toss.  Add feta and toss again.  Divide the salad among two plates and add the potatoes around the perimeter.  Place a cooked chicken cutlet on each salad and serve.


1 comment:

  1. I really love how you include cinnamon in so many different recipes. Not only is it one of our favorite ingredients, but it is so good for us. I look forward to seeing what different formats and inclusions you make to this terrific blog. The photo of this chicken dish made me positively drool!